Regardless of the industry, it’s always important to know what the best in the business are up to. When it comes to hotels, the biggest brands are always innovating and have some exciting news to share.
Even smaller and independent brands can learn from these larger chains, whether it be a marketing strategy, loyalty program, guest experience initiative, or technology investment.
You won’t always have the budget or resources to replicate everything, and you may not want to, but it never hurts to know what the big players in the industry doing right now.
Here are this month’s recent discoveries from some of the biggest hotel brands in the world.
Get your fill of hotel chain news.
Hotel Chain Watch #1
What’s new with AccorHotels?
Accor always has something exciting to announce and this time the company has decided to team up with Eurostar to join their respective loyalty programs.
This combining of forces will offer travellers amazing experiences in more than 100 destinations throughout Europe. Perks include free tickets, free stays, upgrades, special offers, and an exchange of points between the two programs. Club Eurostar members can now convert their points into Le Club AccorHotels rewards points and vice versa.
It’s an enriched travel experience that will see Eurostar members be able to tap in to the group’s multiple rewards offerings such as Elite Experiences, La Collection e-boutique, Dream Stays. Meanwhile, the 50 million Le Club AccorHotels members worldwide will also have access to Eurostar’s loyalty programme, including Eurostar tickets and upgrades, special offers and purchases in the Club Eurostar shop.
Hotel Chain Watch #2
What’s new with Hyatt Hotels Corporation?
To make life easier for meeting planners, Hyatt have announced the Hyatt Planner Portal, a tool designed specifically for meeting planners to have a single place where they can manage contracts, attendee information, costs, and more throughout the planning stages.
The portal will also contain information on current, upcoming and past meetings and events, giving planners the ability to review details, access event history and generate reports whenever necessary.
“Created with feedback directly from meeting planners, this solution aims to alleviate pain points planners face and it captures information in one place so they can spend more time focusing on what is most important for their attendees,” said Steve Enselein, SVP of Events at Hyatt.
As part of the system, Hyatt is releasing a new technology tool to help planners facilitate attendee room reservations. Once the room block is confirmed, meeting planners will receive a custom reservation link on Hyatt.com with their group name, event dates and selected hotel to share with attendees.
Hotel Chain Watch #3
What’s new with Marriott International?
Marriott’s W Hotels has always been known for its on-site music festivals, but now the brand is taking things a step further by creating its very own record label.
So named W Records, the label will be a resource for artists selected by W Hotels and their music industry partners. W Records will support artists through every step of development, providing recording space, music video locations, mixing and mastering, live performance distribution, streaming and vinyl production.
Anthony Ingham, global brand leader, W Hotels said the industry demanded this kind of initiative.
“Over the brand’s 20-year lifespan the music industry has changed beyond recognition, and we have changed with it. Intimate live performances in our Living Rooms have evolved into weekend-long music festivals throughout our hotels. The curated soundtracks of years ago have given way to late night recording sessions in our W Sound Suites. That’s because one thing remains constant: travel and the allure of a W hotel room inspiring musicians around the world,” he explained.
“W Records is, undoubtedly, a natural next step for W and music.”
Artists recording with W Hotels will produce their tracks at the W Hollywood, W Barcelona, W Bali or W Seattle. These sessions will include a cover as well as an original.
Hotel Chain Watch #4
What’s happening with newcomer Nihi Hotels?
Nihi Hotels is a new entrepreneurial effort from James McBride, who has lifetime hotel experience, running the Carlyle and working for the Ritz Carlton.
The completely isolated island of Sumba is the first site of his luxury hotel brand. However, Nihi Sumba isn’t a normal luxury property. The 33-villa resort is set in around 500 acres of land on an Indonesian island, where guests rarely ever see a boat in the ocean or a plane in the sky. This is part of what McBride calls “the edge of wildness.”
“I think on the edge of wildness is something that we put together because we felt it encapsulated what the experience was,” he said. “You just have to imagine again, and I’ll ask you just take a look on the world map and say Sumba Island. You’ll see there’s this huge land mass called the Forgotten Island. It’s wild, but our accommodations are chic and elegant but not too much.”
“On the island of Sumba, which is tribal, there was one little hotel on it. People still traded in buffalo, they still carried swords. It is completely wild, they live above their animals, and we were fortunate enough to be able to evolve a very special place already into this total gem that has captured many people’s imaginations. They keep visiting because of the spirit of the people, the location, and many other facets that make it special.”
McBride is looking to expand this concept to other destinations with a new site planned in Costa Rica. He is also keen on Iceland, Mexico, and Colombia.
Hotel Chain Watch #5
What’s new with Hyatt (again)?
Hyatt is having a busy month, deciding to integrate wellness brand Exhale into its World of Hyatt loyalty program, a year after the acquisition.
With the move World of Hyatt loyalty members can earn and redeem points for any fitness class and spa treatments they book at 20 participating Exhale locations in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
“Since last year when Hyatt acquired Exhale, we’ve always been looking at ways to take care of our members and guests so they can be at their best,” said Amy Weinberg, senior vice president of World of Hyatt.
This decision continues a pattern of Hyatt making forays into the wellness space.